Tuesday, 1 September 2009
All the Fun of the Fair?
There is a cred T-shirt my partner wore that says “How you spend your money affects what happens on the planet". Each purchase we make has the potential to bolster corporate unfair practices detrimental to national and international producers or support ethical trade that in turn supports local communities.
I feel that apart from letter writing, the way to trully lobby is to think about how we spend our money. There was a lot of talk about coffee shops in a recent post on dykestowatchoutfor.com - which trully do smell delightful - but is your first consideration the taste of the coffee or the ethics of the company/ owner you are buying the coffee from? Is it fair trade - what sort of life have the producers or workers had in providing it at that price?
Thankfully now fair trade products are more available and better quality - it is not always a choice between quality of production and quality of product. I would just love coffee chains to not just supply one fair trade option but commit to only fair trade products. Sainsbury’s and Coop supermarkets in the UK own brands of tea and coffee and chocolate respectively are now only fair trade and show it is possible at a great price. Wouldn’t it be amazing if starbucks not only stopped producing coffee that tasted burnt but also committed to serving only fair trade drinks. Now that could affect the planet.